Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a key economic support program to help families with children who have very low incomes through a variety of services. TANF marks 25 years in August 2021, a landmark which invites both reflection and reckoning.
The American Rescue Plan includes a significant, one-year expansion to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Millions of newly eligible children and their families will benefit from this major expansion, and successful implementation is now key to realizing a significant reduction in child poverty, building racial equity, and creating a public investment for the good of all children. Here’s what you need to know about the expanded CTC.
To help families meet their children’s basic needs, Congress expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for 2021. Families will receive $3,600 per child up to age 5 and $3,00 per child 6 to 17, half of which is paid out in monthly checks. If you haven’t filed taxes recently, you can use the CTC Non-Filer Sign Up Tool to sign up.
Federal rental assistance is a set of several programs—mostly administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Agriculture with support from tax credits— that help families with little or no income cover their housing costs. These programs help in many different ways, but the basic concept is that families with low incomes contribute a certain, sustainable amount of their income to their monthly rent payments and the government covers the rest. In total, these programs help more than 9 million people in 4.6 million households, more than a third of which were households with children.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal block grant program for states, tribes, and territories designed to help families with a variety of services. States receive the block grant funding and use it to administer programs that provide cash assistance, child care, work supports and activities, child welfare, and more. States also use the funding to help families with children experiencing poverty pay for groceries, rent, diapers, clothing, and other basic necessities. In Fiscal Year 2020, which spans from October 2019 – September 2020, more than 1 million families—including more than 2 million children—received TANF assistance.
To ensure that no child is excluded from the CTC because of their family structure, frequency of moving, or their involvement in other systems, Congress must make critical changes to the definition of “qualifying child” for the purpose of the CTC. To expand eligibility, the CTC should be accessible to all children regardless of their relationship to their caregiver and the bene t should continue to support children and their families as their living arrangements change.
CDF Urges Congress to Pass a Robust Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) Bill and Ensure Equitable Access to Meals
Children and families need ongoing support and access to healthy, nutritious meals during the pandemic and beyond. We cannot revert back to strict, outdated, and inflexible standards that leave millions of children—disproportionately Black, Latinx, and Indigenous children—behind and vulnerable to hunger. To truly build back better and advance racial equity, we must fully and finally eliminate barriers to healthy food and success for all children. Congress can—and must—begin right now and advance a bold CNR bill.
The IRS Must Better Connect Families to Online Tools to Guarantee All Eligible Families Receive the 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit
The Automatic Benefit for Children (ABC) coalition writes with recommendations to better connect families who have not recently filed taxes with simple, easy, and straightforward online tools to guarantee that all eligible families receive the 2021 advance Child Tax Credit (CTC). In these times of extreme financial uncertainty, it is critical that people receive economic support as efficiently as possible.
The recently enacted American Rescue Plan (ARP) included important benefits that can help get cash to your family and provide immediate tax relief. File your 2020 taxes by May 17th to get the money you and your family are owed.
Over the past several decades, the United States has built a system that favors billionaires over babies and perpetuates economic inequality and racial disparities that harm America’s children. But it doesn't have to be this way: Here are eight ways Congress could fight inequality through the tax code and invest in children instead of billionaires.